Cannabis drug compound points to better treatment for epileptic kids: Aussie research

SYDNEY, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The cannabidol non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana drugs may have positive effects for children with severe epilepsy where other medications for the major neurological disorder are not effective, according to the latest Australian research.

The latest successful trials of cannabidol that point to the potential of cannabis or marijuana for medical purposes is "good news for some desperate families of children with severe epilepsy", Dr. John Anthony Lawson of Sydney Children's Hospital said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lawson co-authored the latest findings reported in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology medical publication.

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain characterized by seizures and more than 250,000 Australians have the condition, with children representing about 40 percent of the patients, according to the Epilepsy Action Australia charity organization.

The researchers analyzed the potential of the compound for helping patients with intractable epilepsy, in which seizures fail to come under control with standard anti-seizure treatment. They reported that cannabidol "may have modest efficacy and be appropriate for children with severe epilepsy, but attention must be paid to potential side effects and drug interactions".

There is still no evidence to guide physicians in ranking cannabidiol among current antiepileptic drugs and it will be important to continue studying its potential through rigorous clinical trials, they added.

The compound "is a medicine, not a miracle and should be managed as such", and further investment in clinical trials and high-level research is needed, said the researchers.

[ Editor: Xueying ]


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